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Former Pensacola mayoral candidate Drew Buchanan on Thursday threw his support behind Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson, endorsing Robinson’s bid to become Pensacola’s next mayor.

Buchanan — the former publisher of The Pulse — was one of six candidates who ran in Pensacola’s August 28 mayoral primary. Robinson topped the field with 34 percent of the vote, securing a place in the November 6 general election, as did city councilman Brian Spencer, who won 20 percent of the vote. Buchanan finished fourth with 13 percent.

“Today, I’m endorsing Grover Robinson for mayor because he has a proven track record of effective leadership and he is someone who I believe is prepared to collaborate, unify, and expand opportunity for all Pensacolians at this critical time,” Buchanan said in a statement. “Do we disagree on some issues? Of course. But above all, I know Grover to be a leader that is willing to surround himself with critics and pundits alike, not just cheerleaders and like-minded peers. Pensacola deserves a mayor that will push for civic engagement and public discourse to move our city forward together united, not divided.”

Buchanan’s campaign — notable for its refusal to accept contributions from business or political action committees — had the lowest cost per vote of any of the six mayoral campaigns.

In a post to social media, Robinson thanked Buchanan for his support.

“While we may not have agreed on every idea or style of presentation, I do fully appreciate Drew’s passion for success in every neighborhood and his commitment to an open, transparent Pensacola,” Robinson said. “On those points, Drew and I are totally in agreement. I am very honored and humbled by his support and excited to have him as part of the team going forward.”

Drew Buchanan’s full statement:

“Six months ago, I set out to launch a bold new vision for the City of Pensacola in my campaign for mayor. We spoke out in our fight to rebuild trust with residents, laid out an inclusive platform of innovative and common sense solutions to our city’s most critical challenges, and we gave working Pensacolians a voice in this election.

Pensacola will be challenged in many new ways in the coming years — by making critical decisions to safeguard our environment, by the possibility of another recession, and by the changing demographics of the city itself, which will necessitate hard decisions about growth and development. Pensacola needs a steady, experienced leader who can bring all neighborhoods and citizens to the table, not lead within a vacuum.

Today, I’m endorsing Grover Robinson for mayor because he has a proven track record of effective leadership and he is someone who I believe is prepared to collaborate, unify, and expand opportunity for all Pensacolians at this critical time.

As Escambia County Commissioner, Grover has been the public face of Northwest Florida’s recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill — fighting for hundreds of millions of public restoration dollars designed to address our most pressing environmental and economic challenges. As a result of his leadership, historic public waterways like Carpenter’s Creek, Bayou Chico, and Bayou Texar are being restored for future generations of Pensacolians.

Grover has rightly pushed the city to focus on the fundamentals. Unlike Brian Spencer, Grover has been out front pushing for citywide town halls and proactive neighborhood engagement long before it became politically fashionable. He has been committed to a “back to basics” agenda that focuses on bringing neighborhoods and citizens into the decision-making process, improving services and government accountability, and walking the talk on increased pay and benefits for our first responders.

Do we disagree on some issues? Of course. But above all, I know Grover to be a leader that is willing to surround himself with critics and pundits alike, not just cheerleaders and like-minded peers. Pensacola deserves a mayor that will push for civic engagement and public discourse to move our city forward together united, not divided.

Most importantly, I know Grover will serve as a representative of all Pensacolians and neighborhoods, not just the select few that live downtown. While the other contender for the mayor’s office has been busy building luxury condos, Grover has been busy building this community and our neighborhoods.

When I told our supporters on election night that ‘while campaigns end, movements don’t,’ I meant it. The stakes are too high to stand on the sidelines. We must continue to actively work to bring transparency to City Hall, to provide opportunities for all Pensacolians, to provide livable jobs, to preserve our neighborhoods and our past, and to create a truly sustainable city.”

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